Government to review support in the workplace for victims of domestic abuse

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written statement – made on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention the details of a review into support in the workplace for victims of domestic abuse.

The Government is committed to supporting victims of domestic abuse and is currently taking its Domestic Abuse Bill through Parliament. The Bill and wider package of non-legislative measures underpinning it focus on raising awareness and increasing understanding of domestic abuse, further improving the effectiveness of the justice system in protecting victims of domestic abuse and their children, bringing perpetrators to justice and strengthening the support available for victims by statutory agencies.

Domestic abuse affects every aspect of a victim’s life, so it should come as no surprise that domestic abuse also affects a victim’s work. It strips people of their independence, can reduce their productivity, and ultimately denies them the opportunity to flourish and develop in their chosen career.

There is already a lot of support which employers can, and do, provide to domestic abuse victims. A number of organisations have developed best practice guidance and model policies to help employers to improve the support available to employees affected by domestic abuse, such as Equality and Human Rights Commission, Business in the Community and the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse.

The review is an opportunity to draw together the various existing strands of activity and consider whether there is more that can be done to support victims of domestic abuse in the workplace. It will start with a call for evidence and will investigate:

  • What practical circumstances arise in relation to domestic abuse and work?
  • What support can be offered in the workplace for victims of domestic abuse?
  • What is possible within the existing statutory framework?
  • What does current best practice look like, in the UK and elsewhere?
  • What is the potential to do more?

The review will report by the end of the year.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS273